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knotheadsrus
10-01-2013, 04:45 AM
Is there a reference somewhere that will say what illnesses or injuries were common in 1820 and what was used to treat them? Most of what i have found are treatments for later years. I know that antibiotics and antiseptics were not used yet, but I am sure that there had to be remedies and herbs that physicians used. Like what would they do for blood poisoning after a compound fracture? What would be used to cleanse the wound? Given for pain? Were there leg braces back then for deformities of the legs and crutches. Polio had not hit yet I don't believe? But deformities from birth or injury still had to happen. Thank you for the help. :)

waylander
10-01-2013, 12:50 PM
Try Mrs Beeton's Book of House Management. A bit later than your period but not much would have changed.
For blood poisoning after a compound fracture - pray and dig a grave.

mirandashell
10-01-2013, 12:53 PM
Which country is your story set in?

James D. Macdonald
10-01-2013, 02:50 PM
Here are two textbooks. One from 1815: https://archive.org/details/systiam02murr

One from 1845: https://archive.org/details/elementsofmateri00ball

We no longer administer potassium cyanide for upper respiratory infections; back in the day that was a top-of-the-line treatment.

Polio was known (under various names), but the big epidemics of the later 19th through mid-20th centuries depended, ironically enough, on improved sanitation and public water distribution.

Before the mid-19th century the germ theory of disease was espoused by crackpots and cranks. The miasma theory of disease was the widely-accepted thinking (and still had strong proponents nearly to the dawn of the 20th century).

King Neptune
10-01-2013, 03:43 PM
Is there a reference somewhere that will say what illnesses or injuries were common in 1820 and what was used to treat them? Most of what i have found are treatments for later years. I know that antibiotics and antiseptics were not used yet, but I am sure that there had to be remedies and herbs that physicians used. Like what would they do for blood poisoning after a compound fracture?

The treatment for blood poisoning was boiling water, which worked even though it was somewhat painful.


What would be used to cleanse the wound? Soap and water


Given for pain?

opium, morphine, alcohol, or whatever.


Were there leg braces back then for deformities of the legs and crutches. Polio had not hit yet I don't believe? As someone else wrote polio was there, and it goes back a long way, but there was no treatment for it.

melindamusil
10-01-2013, 10:16 PM
Bloodletting was another common treatment. The death of George Washington in 1799 was partially due to massive blood loss due to bloodletting, and it remained a common treatment through the 1840s.

Shakesbear
10-01-2013, 10:50 PM
http://www.medicalmuseums.org/home/ has a list ot twenty or so medical museums in London - links to two that might be able to answer your questions are:

http://www.wellcomecollection.org/

http://www.thegarret.org.uk/index.htm

These might also be of use:
Royal College of Physicians Museum (http://www.medicalmuseums.org/Royal-College-of-Physicians/)
Royal College of Surgeons Hunterian Museum (http://www.medicalmuseums.org/Royal-College-of-Physicians/)

The type of treatment depended on so many factors - rural or urban, social position, age, financial status.

knotheadsrus
10-03-2013, 09:51 PM
Thank you all for your help! It is a tough period to write.. LOL Just before antibiotics and antiseptics... so i have to rely on herbs and "remedies"

knotheadsrus
10-03-2013, 10:01 PM
1820 Los Angeles. So it is rustic... a lot of things would have to be cured by herbs and home remedies.

King Neptune
10-03-2013, 11:25 PM
1820 Los Angeles. So it is rustic... a lot of things would have to be cured by herbs and home remedies.

Rustic! That's putting it mildly. there were ranches in the area, but the town had only 1600 people. You can have them use whatever you like, but you probably are right about home remedies.

melindamusil
10-04-2013, 01:32 AM
Neptune is right - there'd be a very low population density! At that time, Los Angeles was just about the edge of the "known world". Remember also, it was NOT a part of the United States at that time. The area that we know as California was part of the Spanish empire at that time. Also, the Mexican war for independence ended in 1821, at which time California became a part of the first Mexican empire.

Because of the Spanish influence at that time, you'd probably have a lot of Catholicism, and a fair amount of your medical treatment might have involved praying to this-or-that saint to intercede for the healing of the patient.

knotheadsrus
10-07-2013, 09:26 PM
Thank you! Yes, I understand LA was under Spanish rule at the time. And.. LOL... very very rustic. That is why i am looking for a "home remedy site" or some place to see what might have been used at the time. Thank you so much for your insight. This place is amazing and the people so helpful.